The CTA says closing the line from the Chinatown stop at Cermak to the end of the line at 95th Street means the work will get done faster.
The first of five public meetings is being held Monday on the proposal. Officials hope to get input from the public and to provide riders with information. CTA President Forrest Claypool as well as CTA Board Chairman Terry Peterson will be at the meeting.
The project covers 10 miles of track and nine South Side stops and will cost $425 million. But CTA officials say the reconstruction project would be much more expensive if the work were done over a longer period of time using weekend closers only.
The CTA will be hiring 150 to 200 bus drivers to provide Red Line riders with free shuttles to other rail lines.
While the CTA plans to begin work next May, it says the plan is not set in stone.
"What's important is that we hear what people have to say," said Steve Mayberry, CTA. "On the question whether or not we'll consider doing it or not doing it, we put forth the plan we think works. If folks think differently, that's exactly why we have these community meetings and we'll discuss it in the meeting."
"I still feel in the interest of fair play for the riding public, hearings before the fact would definitely have been in order. I was concerned about that," said William Scott, CTA rider.
The next meeting will be on Thursday at Kennedy King College. Then there are three other meetings that will take place in July.